First Business News Portal in English from Nepal
KATHMANDU: “When I was born, Banarjhula was dark. I went to Qatar and came back to my hometown after years and there is still no light,” said Surya Bindas, a resident from Banarjhula, Chitwan, who has been demanding for his land property certificate in Maitighar, Kathmandu.
There is no electricity in the houses of Banarjhula residents and rely on traditional lamps and solar energy. Altogether, there are 700 households in Banarjhula village. They had come to Kathmandu demanding land ownership certificate from Madi Municipality, Chitwan.
Voices of grief over not being able to breathe in their own land were heard in Maitighar, Kathmandu till Tuesday. However, their voices of agony will not be heard for few days now as the government has agreed to address their demand by mid-February. However, Bindas says that if the demand is not met based on the agreement reached with the government, they will start another protest and will certainly obtain their land ownership then.
“Different governments came and even the system got changed. But situation of Banarjhula residents has not changed,” Banarjhura residents (men, women, children and senior citizens) were chanting.
They had come to find their identity in the place they live. A three-point agreement was reached between the people of Banarjhula and the Department of Land Commission, on Tuesday.
What led Banarjhula and its people to Kathmandu in this cold winter?
Along with this, all who came with Bindas have returned to Chitwan after spending a bit of time in the cold of Kathmandu. However, Bindas will stay in Kathmandu for a few days due to his personal work.
Lost in My Own Land
How did you come to Kathmandu? His answer to the first question of Fiscal Nepal was, “We were brought to Kathmandu by land ownership certificate. We are lost in the land where we live; we are lost within the state; we have no identity in our own land.”
He has reached Qatar in a bid to sustain amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Sundas returned home before the pandemic came to an end. He came back to Nepal in last September. “I have my house here in Nepal, my shelter is here and the land that we have been staying for years has not become ours,” he says emotionally.
The mind and eyes of Surya, who is in his 30s, have not been able to see much change in the Banarjhura since childhood. For years, public transport had not been able to reach the village grew and lived. However, buses have started plying from Narayanghat to Thori from October. The bus leaves at 7am in the morning and returns at 6pm in the evening. It takes 6 hours for Banarjhula residents to reach Chitwan by bus.
Lost My Mother Due to Lack of Transport
He shares bitter experiences of many people losing their lives due to lack of proper transportation facility in Banarjhura. Due to the increased flow of water level across rivers which damages roads, ambulances and other vehicles cannot operate in the region during rainy season.
When water level increases in Khare river, his heartbeat begins to increase. “My mother died on her way to hospital as we could not reach hospital on time due to poor roads and transportation facility. Similarly, four other people died due to the same reason,” Sundas recalls in tears.
“While political party leaders go to attend general meetings of their party in helicopters, residents in Banarjhula do not have effective means of transport even to go hospital,” he said.
No one applies to advertisements published by schools in Banarjhula for teacher. “Due to inaccessibility and inconvenience working in the region, no teachers want to come to schools in Banarjhula,” as per Sundas.
There are only around four people who have completed post-graduation in Banarjhula village while around 25 people have completed their graduation degrees. Today, the number of students studying up to +2 level is increasing. Although the older generation in Banarjhula is illiterate, he believes that the new generation is increasing the literacy rate in Banarjhula.
Sundas has studied up to class 10. He grew up in a low-income family. Speaking about his family situation, he said, “I was grown up in a Dalit family and I have lost many opportunities due to poverty.”
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